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Nativity scene removed from Baxter County courthouse

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 4, 2014 at 3:26 p.m.

MOUNTAIN HOME — A Christmas nativity scene on display at the Baxter County Courthouse has been removed, but county officials say they weren't involved in taking down the religious display.

Earlier this week, a Washington, D.C.-based legal center told Baxter County officials to remove a nativity scene from the courthouse lawn or face a lawsuit. The Appignani Humanist Legal Center says the nativity scene is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion on public property.

The Baxter Bulletin reports the display was removed from the courthouse lawn late Thursday. But County Judge Mickey Pendergrass says the display likely came down because the holiday season had passed.

He says no county employee was involved in the setup or removal of the display. Mountain Home attorney Rick Spencer donated the nativity scene to the county.

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